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René was born in Quebec, Canada. He grew up in Vermont, graduating from
Austine School for the Deaf and later attending Gallaudet University. He, his brother and two aunts and an uncle have Usher Syndrome.
His work life has included being the Acting Director of DEAF, Inc. in Allston, Massachusetts, and nearly 20 years at VocRehab-Vermont, most of which was as
Vermont's State Coordinator for the Deaf (SCD). René’s last four years of work were as the Coordinator for Northern Vermont for Vermont Center for the
Deaf and Hard of Hearing. René was instrumental in the passage of laws
Supportive of the Deaf community and Vermont interpreters.
He has been married to an interpreter, Joan, for 38 years. They have six
adult children including two adopted daughters and one nine year old
grandson. René lives in a small town in Vermont surrounded by the Green
Long recognized by his Deaf peers as a sought after storyteller, Rene expanded
his repertoire in recent years to chronicle DeafBlind life, "learning through Laughter", as René The Unstoppable. He has also taught numerous workshops on being DeafBlind, Usher Syndrome and on Haptics. Additionally, he is a weekly contributor to Deaf Digest.
Mindy is a DeafBlind with Usher Syndrome type 1. She graduated from Model Secondary School for the Deaf also obtained BA in Psychology and MA in School Counseling from Gallaudet University. Mindy worked 11 years as a school counselor at Louisiana School for the Deaf. She participated in Georgia Association of the DeafBlind and became President in 2012-2014. Currently, she volunteers as an advocate of the DeafBlind community, where she lives. She is one of the administrators for "DeafBlind Thoughts" a group on Facebook.
State: New Jersey
My name is Sarah Goodwin, I am DeafBlind and I am a board member of American Association of DeafBLind (AADB) since Summer 2016. I graduated at Lamar University with a master’s degree in Deaf Education/Deaf Studies in 2013. I am currently a part time adjunct instructor at two years community college in SE Texas for 2 years. I have been teaching a course called, “Working with DeafBlind Persons”. I enjoy working with students and helping them learn something new every time I teach the class. I am hosting a DeafBlind event where I invite several DeafBlind people to socialize and be able to feel comfortable using “touch” ASL including ProTactileASL (PTASL) in Houston, TX. When I host these DeafBlind events, these events bring me happiness by knowing that DeafBlind guests smiling and having an awesome time at these events. I like to stay involved in DeafBlind community, because I feel that the support is important to DeafBlind community. Having this extremely support helps to build a much stronger community. Being involved in DeafBlind community is important since there is so many DeafBlind individuals may need support to be successful in their lives.
Image description of headshot:
White woman with dark brown hair parted on the side and hazel eyes looking at the camera behind a black drape. She has a ‘v’ neck black buttoned blouse. Smiling with teeth showing.
-Usher Syndrome type 1
-Married to a Deaf sighted man with a young adult CODBA son
-Graduated from Kansas School for the Deaf
-Graduated from Gallaudet University and University of Arkansas at Fayetteville
-Lived in multiple states including Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Washington, D.C. Mostly in Kansas before moving to Missouri, my birth state.
-My work life had included my first job as a dishwasher at the Deaf school as a teen, being a paraeducator at the Deaf school, alcohol and drug counselor trainee, vocational rehabilitation counselor, adjunct professor and ASL tutor at an interpreting training program, and last but not least, domestic engineer.
-Currently, I am a DB/SSP trainer in the Northwest Missouri of a brand new SSP program overseen by the Missouri Commission of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. I am also an ASL mentor.
- I was a co-founder of an informal organization called Heart of America DeafBlind Community for the state of Kansas.
-I am a co-moderator of the listserv named Great Plains DeafBlind List.
-I am involved in a social group for the DeafBlind for DeafBlind Social Group of Kansas City.
-I have been giving presentations on a variety of topics.
-I have attended conferences including AADB as an attendee and a teen mentor, NAD, KAD (Kansas), Missouri Interpreting, and Oklahoma’s SHEP
State: North Carolina
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